Thursday, June 7, 2012

Two Miraculous Years and counting!

Some people think life is all about problems, but for me; its all about miracles. That's why I call my blog "This life as I love it!  Read along and I will give you an example of why I feel this way!

Around the age of 12 I began babysitting children & absolutely LOVED being with kids and they enjoyed me also. In high school I became an aunt. This was a wonderful and amazing experience, to have children so close to me, in my family. I loved my nephew and niece with great devotion and cared for them, as if they were my own! (Still do!)

After that, I was always involved with children & people frequently commented what a wonderful mother I would be one day!  I took this encouragement to heart, because caring for children was something I truly enjoyed and very special to me. With great hopefulness, I began to look forward to the day, when I would have my own children!

Around that time I began having issues with my feminine health, but the doctors put me on Birth Control to level my hormones. I thought these were just annoying issues that I had to deal with. The medication caused everything to return to "normal" or so I thought at the time.  

At that young age, I didn’t see this as reproductive health. I didn’t see the connection then. For the most part, as I thought all went back to "normal" with the medication the doctors prescribed and my body adjusted as expected. Internally though, these problems persisted until and it eventually caused me to have a fear. A fear developed as I got older & understood what “reproductive health” actually meant to my future family. This fear that developed was that:  I would never have a baby of my own. This hurt me, but I did not let the thought rule my teenage life.  As you’d guess, time & life passed and I made the best of things.

As the years flew by, adding experience and knowledge; I began to understand more how these problems were going to affect me in adulthood. With such a strong maternal desire and instinct; this understanding caused me to have depressive cycles full of tears. Tears caused by the pain I felt. This was agonizing and soul wrenching and only grew through the years. Through the rest of high school and college, these thoughts and pain were temporarily forgotten. At least, it was not in the forefront of my mind.  Still, this hurt was always there, lurking under the surface.

I met my first husband just after I graduated high school and we eventually got married when I was in my early 20's after college graduation etc. It was a fun time of travel and social growth.  I was moving on with my life but so were my peers, with their families. I watched as they were starting to have children. 

The fears and longing began again in big way! Seeing these new families being created brought the thought of motherhood back to my current reality. It again was an issue in the forefront of my mind. I REALLY wanted to be a mommy!  --- So, regardless of the past, I decided to try.

As is customary, I went off birth control for a while and nothing happened. My husband and I began “trying” to conceive very deliberately. This was a frustrating and fruitless effort.

It was a time full of nothing…

Well nothing but waiting…  

And more waiting for even more nothing…

So, I went to the doctor and at his advice went through a battery of tests.  The results of these tests were disheartening, to say the least. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I now realize that this effects many women but learning it about myself, was devastating to me. 

I studied this subject as much or more than my college major, or so it felt! Websites and books galore with the same information! The diagnosis did not mean that Pregnancy was completely out of the question, but possibilities were very slim without medically assisted procedures and medications.

To say I was upset is an understatement! I felt as though I was broken. Was I mad at God? Now I am ashamed to openly admit I was for a little while. Why did I have to suffer this way? While my anger didn't last long, sadness and emptiness filled a part of my heart, which should have been filled with the joy of anticipating motherhood. I wrestled with bitterness.

I wish I could say I got better right away, but I did not. As the days went by I sank into a deep depression. I now realize that this contributed greatly to ending my first marriage in divorce.
I went on to other relationships & never fully committed to them because I felt an inadequacy within myself. I was always open about my “condition” and diagnosis, which was typically accepted very well, but my private thoughts were: "who really wanted a broken wife that couldn't be a mother!?" Wow, it actually hurts to admit but it was true, at that time.

Still, I am a good person. Even though the pain was there, I did the right thing in my heart and soul. It was the only thing I knew that could possibly fill the glaring void in my life. I reconnected with God and renewed my commitment to Him. I came to believe that He would do what was right for me; WHEN it was right for me!

Fast forward a few years…

I met my current husband, Paul, in 2008.  I learned of his 4 children and got close to them quickly as we were able in a budding relationship for all of us. He often wondered aloud why I hadn't turned and run away like so many other single women.  But I wasn't that way. Paul and I really clicked, I'd found my best friend! We had SO many things in common and found out early on that we could easily talk for hours upon hours! The way I looked at things, Paul having children helped me relax with some comfort. I was so thank when I had the realization that even if I couldn't give him children, maybe one day we could share his. 

With all that had happened earlier in life and what I had learned, because of it. I was in NO way trying to conceive a child at this point in my life. I didn't want to put myself or anyone else through needless frustration. I focused my energies on my career and worked on climbing the so called “corporate ladder of success”. I greatly enjoyed my career!

Paul and I grew together and our relationship blossomed with no thought of my PCOS, etc. We were more consumed by his year-long deployment that loomed in front of us in 2009. With faith in God, I committed to Paul to be right where he left me, when he got back from Iraq. I was able to spend a few days here and there with my now step-children while he was gone, which helped bridge the gap. That year was VERY lonely but it proved to be worth the sacrifice!!

In September of 2009, Paul came home for his R&R leave for 10 days. The time was amazing (he planned & flawlessly executed the task, of being home for my birthday)!
It was wonderful and went way too fast to say the least. We spent time with the children and a few days by ourselves before he headed back to Iraq until the end of January 2010.  
I thought it was difficult the first 8 months, without him. Well after his leave and being alone again, I was truly miserable! I cried all the time and missed him more than ever! It felt as if my emotions were uncontrollable. While he was home on his leave, we talked endlessly about our commitment and marriage. We planned what we would do as soon as he was home again. It was only a matter of months between “us and the rest of our lives”.

All was back to "normal" for an Army wife during a long deployment. I think that during these life events, the term normal actually takes on a whole new meaning, than it does for most! “Normal,” without a loved one is tough. I learned what it was like to feel completely alone in a room full of family and friends! My tears flowed and life went on slowly……. day by day! 

On top of missing Paul, I started not feeling well ……… and WOW, I was tired! ……….You may be suspecting the outcome of my sickness at this point. But Keep in mind that in my 1st marriage I went a few years with no birth control and no pregnancy. Still, Paul's R&R had left me with a huge unexpected surprise.

I don't know whether it was the anti-biotics I was taking or just the grace of God. But the seemingly impossible had happened. I was pregnant!!   

I've never been so happy scared, anxious, exhilarated, etc. in my whole life! We waited to tell the kids until he was home out of respect for them and to give them the ability to ask us questions that they probably would have. When Paul came home we immediately got married. We had already been discussing it before pregnancy; so it was a normal and planned step (if a miracle happened). So, after a month or so, I was able to leave my job and move almost 2 hours north to live with my husband and step-children, start a new life; as a stay at home mom!  Our happy marriage and family was finally started.

The pregnancy went wonderfully. I truly loved being pregnant! Everything went according to plan and very smoothly, my due date was 9 months from the exact day Paul came home for his leave... We had a healthy baby boy and I adjusted to life in a new town, as a new mother of FIVE!! {Talk about an adventure step!}

In the last few years our family has already faced many trials. I KNOW God had his perfect path for me. I know my step kids need me & I need them. I KNOW I need to be here now. My son is my miracle from God!

I don't know for sure, but I believe that if I had tried to have a baby, it wouldn't have happened as it didn’t in the past.  But it did happen in God's time. My heart left my body literally, on June 7, 2010; when my miracle son Nicolas was born! Not only did I become a mother, but I had a happy, healthy natural baby; with no medical assistance!

What I once felt was my greatest problem had become my greatest blessing.  So while some people think life is all about problems, for me; it’s truly all about miracles. So, now you know why I call my blog site "This life as I love it! 

Thanks for letting me share one of my most personal miracles with you!!

Love & HUGS,


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Purpose (WHY series part 3)

I have been doing quite a bit of personal development and leadership training in the last year, which has had an amazing impact on my personal and business life and relationships!! My learning and training actually lead and introduced me to the Mental Fitness Challenge I am taking part in! It was explained to me as P90X for my brain. As soon as I heard that, I was "in"! We all, quite often, need a "check up from the neck up"!
As I began the 90 day Mental Fitness Challenge, one of my first tasks was to identify my God-given PURPOSE in life. I began the reading and audio that goes along with the challenge I really began searching deeply into my life, heart and soul to hone in on this AMAZING feeling I've had inside me since the very early this year.

In addition to my own personal growth plan and learning, I have also been working closely with amazing coaches and mentors to hone the skills I most want to use in both my personal and professional endeavors. As I am growing and defining my purpose I realized and have taken actions to not only become a coach/mentor myself, but I now have the ability to help others become their "best selves" both on the inside and out! I am helping others live the life they've always wanted!

I'll quickly digress and try to describe this ALMOST indescribable feeling I mentioned earlier. My heart has felt full close to bursting with an underlying feeling of needing to share myself and serve others in a way that I had not quite put into words or actions. I knew that I have a wide range of gifts to share, but that I was not sharing my full potential each and every day!
As some of you know, my good friend and business mentor, Nicole came to visit me in early May. We shared an amazing week together. We had a lot of plans the day she got here, and for one reason or another most of the plans ended up changing! We took each day as it came and had an amazing time! I learned SO much in that one week about my own LIMITLESS potential.
I remember a specific moment when we were sitting in a grocery store parking lot and I shared how much excitement I have inside me that I felt close to bursting with the energy of identifying my purpose! She was easily able to relate to what I was describing and said she has experienced quite similar feelings as she began her success journey five or so years ago!

Alright, at this point I have to ASK, and I encourage you to ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly even if only to yourself for now:

Have you ever felt this way?
Do you love what you do every day?
Have you identified your true purpose in life?
Are you living the life you've always wanted? 
Will you be struggling with the same issues and problems in 5 years?
Do you need to make changes in your life that may change the course of where you will be in 5 years?

Now that I have shared my identified purpose I would also like to share just a bit of my personal "why":
As I grow both personally, publicly and in my business, I am solidifying my and my family's FUTURE! I am ensuring that our children are being raised know right from wrong and how to make smart life choices! That in times of prosperity and struggle they will always rely on their faith journey to guide their actions. They are my LEGACY! My life, my dreams and my purpose are in alignment to make sure that the "dash" between my birthdate and my death date is a heart warming story that will be shared for many generations!
I do not want my husband to HAVE to deploy again before his retirement in two years! He has spent the last 18 years defending our FREEDOM both at home and abroad. I am proud of his service am anxious for him to live and enjoy some of the Freedoms he wasn't able to while serving! I want my husband to be able to share in the true happiness that I do! I can't wait until he is able to go on field trips with the kids and we are able to make BOTH our schedules around their activities and our family life!

 I hope that having this glimpse that I may inspire you to put YOUR why into writing!

My success and purpose are not only things I truly LOVE, but they also ensure that our current and future financial security is taken care of!
I have been blessed with opportunities this year that have solidified my "WHAT" to allow me to truly focus on my WHY! I know that the future is bright and that I am on the path that God has set before me! I have identified my purpose and know what living the life I always wanted entails! (I'll share those details in a future post!)

What is stopping YOU??

Love & Hugs!